AU$3000 seems to be the magic price level for 42-inch plasma screens in 2006 (such as Sanyo's PDP42XS1), with NEC's new television offering sneaking in at an RRP of AU$2999. The NEC PXT-42SVI beats its NEC plasma stable mates (such as the recently released PX-42R3W, the PX-50XR4W and the PX-61XR4) in one important area -- the new PXT-42SVI boasts a built-in television tuner. The tuner is only an analog one unfortunately, but at least it's ready for viewing straight out of the box as opposed to the other NEC models.

The rest of the PXT-42SVI's specifications are decent, if a little unimpressive. The set has a resolution of 852x480 pixels, has a claimed contrast ratio of 10,000:1, 1500 nit brightness and detachable stereo speakers. As well as standard inputs such as component, S-Video and D-Sub, the new NEC plasma also offers HDMI for full digital connectivity with other digital sources (that also have HDMI, of course).

NEC is aiming the PXT-42SVI at the cost-conscious end of the market, and as a result will find plenty of competition from cheap no-name brands as well as bigger brands wanting to offload older models. And with such a crowded market, the NEC's fairly basic specs may not be enough to make it stand out from the pack.

NEC's heading in the right direction price-wise with its new plasma, the PXT-42SVI, which offers decent if uninspiring specs.